Friday, April 30, 2010 will broadcast Operalia live from La Scala

Operalia is the famous Placido Domingo's competition for the young singers. The competition started in Paris in 1993, when Nina Stemme, Kwangchul Youn and Inva Mula shared the 1st prize.

Ever since the competition took place every year. Sadly many winners were 4-year-wonders, while far many of those who were prized 2nd or 3rd became actually famous.

This year, besides the usual prizes, there will also be two Birgit Nilsson prizes. First two rounds of competition are finished and the finals are scheduled for Sunday, May 2 at 20:30 (cet) in Milan at La Scala. The concert will be live webcast by .

The finalists are

Symphony No.3 by Mahler: Daniele Gatti at the Théâtre du Châtelet

Last night at  the Théâtre du Châtelet I attended the 4th in the series of concerts spread over the period of 2 years with the Orchestre National de France lead by its musical director Daniele Gatti performing the full opus of Mahler's Symphonies.

And so it was the night of the Symphony No.3. This orchestra is definitely improving and in spite of a few tiny glitches they sounded great last night. Gatti is really a major asset to this orchestra and it was a very clever idea to offer him the job.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Avalanche of new productions in Europe in May 2010

We're blessed to have such a huge number of new productions to be premiered in May 2010 all across Europe, very many of which look super-promising on the paper. In June the offer will be as grand if not even better.

As usual, I expect the best to come from Germany. I hope to see the premiere of the new production of L'étoile by Chabrier, directed by Dale Duesing, and with Sir Simon Rattle conducting [which also means that the cast includes Madge Kozena ;)]. Towards the end of May at the Deutsche Oper Berlin is scheduled a big prima of Otello, produced by the phenomenal Andreas Kriegenburg and with José Cura, Zeljko Lucic and Anja Harteros among the soloists. In Stuttgart, Jossi Wieler will unveil his take on Kat'a Kabanova,  while in Frankfurt Vera Nemirova will show off her Rheingold, the first chapter of the Frankfurter Ring that she will be producing over the next 3-4 years. In Hamburg, instead, Guy Joosten prepares his first Aida, to be premiered in May too. Tristan und Isolde in Leipzig might be a surprising gem.

It will be an exciting month in Switzerland too. Jan Bosse, a 40 year old German director who produced his first opera in Basel 2 years ago, will be back to Theater Basel with his new production of La Calisto with Nikolay Borchev. The limelight will be in Geneva though, where Joyce DiDonato and Gregory Kunde will shine in the new production of La Donna del Lago, directed by Christof Loy. My guess, however, is that the most interesting thing will happen in Zurich where they prepare a new Jens-Daniel Herzog's production of Der ferne Klang, with Ingo Metzmacher conducting.

Two special events in England will be the new Tosca at ENO, directed by Catherine Malfitano, and the first Glyndebourne show this year, the premiere of Billy Budd, directed by the multiple Laurence Olivier award winning director - Michael Grandage.

The major event in France this May will be Die Walkure that will be premiered on May 31 in Paris. Hope the second chapter of the Ring produced by Gunter Kramer & Philippe Jordan will be as enjoyable as the Rheingold. [ On that note I must mention an excellent paper/review about that Rheingold in Paris that is to appear in The Wagner Journal -- do check it out or wait till it appears on Boulezian. ] Théâtre des Champs Élysées will "surprise" us with La Calisto, and in Lyon they continue with the Pushkin inspired operas and in May they will premiere  The Queen of Spades, directed by Peter Stein, with a strong Russian cast and with Kirill Petrenko conducting.

La Scala in Milan will open the long awaited "Barenboim-er" Ring with Das Rheingold. Guy Cassiers will direct and the cast looks great.  Belcanto fans will rush to Palermo where Kate Aldrich, Dimitra Theodossiou and Shalva Mukeria will bel-cantare in a new production of Maria Stuarda.
Don Quichotte, a new production by Laurent Pelly in Brussels, will be live broadcast on Arte-TV.
In Spain, Emilio Sagi's is preparing Les mamelles de Tirésias, but I guess the fans will be running to Madrid where William Christie will conduct Les Arts Florissants and a knockout cast for  9 shows of L'incoronazione di Poppea, in a new production signed Pier Luigi Pizzi.

See a more detailed list...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

World Premiere: L'Amour Coupable by Thierry Pécou

 Monument to Corneille in front of Theatre des Arts (Opera House) in Rouen

L'Amour Coupable,  Opéra  de Rouen, April 25, 2010

 Conductor Jean Deroyer
Director Stephan Grögler

Comte Almaviva Edwin Crossley Mercer
Comtesse Almaviva Jacqueline Mayeur
Suzanne Gaëlle Méchaly
Figaro Matthieu Lécroart
Léon Almaviva Mathias Vidal
Honoré Béjart Arnaud Marzorati
Florestine Natacha Kowalski

2010-2011, 2011-2012 2012-2013: Scandinavian Theaters

Monday, April 26, 2010

Billy Budd ROCKS the Paris Opera

Billy Budd, Opéra Bastille Paris, April 24, 2010

Jeffrey Tate    Conductor
Francesca Zambello    Stage Director

Kim Begley Edward Fairfax Vere
Lucas Meachem Billy Budd
Gidon Saks John Claggart
Michael Druiett Mr Redburn
Paul Gay Mr Flint
Scott Wilde Lieutenant Ratcliffe
Andreas Jäggi Red Whiskers
Igor Gnidii Donald
Yuri Kissin Dansker
François Piolino The Novice
John Easterlin Squeak

Dialogues de Tcherniakov avec Poulenc

Dialogues des Carmélites , Bayrische Staatsoper in Munich, April 23, 2010

Conductor Kent Nagano
Production Dmitri Tcherniakov

Marquis de la Force Alain Vernhes
Blanche de la Force Susan Gritton
Chevalier de la Force Bernard Richter
Madame de Croissy Sylvie Brunet
Madame Lidoine Soile Isokoski
Mère Marie Susanne Resmark
Soeur Constance Hélène Guilmette
Mère Jeanne Heike Grötzinger
Soeur Mathilde Anaïk Morel
L'aumônier Xavier Mas
1er commissaire Ulrich Reß
2ème commissaire John Chest
L'officier Christian Rieger
Le geôlier Levente Molnár
Thierry Rüdiger Trebes

2012-20132011-2012: Douce France

Other French opera houses and theaters propose much better opera-program than those in Paris.
Here you can find a compiled info on the 2011-2012 season in France.  I will steadily update this entry until the 2011-2012 programs are fully unveiled.

For those who don't know much about the operatic offer in France, apart from Paris you should keep an eye on what's going on in Lyon and in Strasbourg [Opéra national du Rhin]. A good production can happen elsewhere: Lille, Toulouse,  Dijon, Marseille, Rouen, Nice, Monte Carlo, Bordeaux, Nantes, Nancy...

My apologies to the venues in Reims, Clermont-Ferrand, Massy, Metz, Montpellier, Saint-Étienne, Caen, Avignon, Toulon... I had to make some selection.  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beaumarchais's Figaro plays: third opera this week in Rouen-France

As you all know, the Beaumarchais's Figaro plays Le Barbier de Séville and  Le Mariage de Figaro became arguably the most famous operas of all time. There is a third play though, called La Mère coupable [The Guilty Mother] that never became a good opera in spite of a couple of nice tries: Darius Milhaud composed one in 1966 but it wasn't a success (most probably because Milhaud wasn't really what you'd call a talent for composing an opera). The second one was by a Swedish composer Inger Wikström, but that opera didn't survive either. 

From L'amour Coupable by Pécou in Rouen (photo Jean Pouget)

In 2007, a French-American writer, Eugène Green, was asked to write a libretto inspired by the Beaumarchais's The Guilty Mother,  and an excellent composer, Thierry Pécou,  to compose a corresponding opera. The collaboration of these two will be crowned this week when the world's premiere of L'amour coupable [The Guilty Love] will take place at the Opéra de Rouen in Normandy (France).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maggio a Parigi

La temporada 2010-2011, 2011-2012 2012-2013 en los teatros españoles

Two pics taken in the cafeteria of Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This July in Bregenz: The Passenger/Die Passagerin by Moisey Weinberg

Between the festivals in Munich and Salzburg/Bayreuth there will also be a popular festival in Bregenz. This year they will present a new David Pountney's production, this time of an opera by Mieczysław Weinberg called The Passenger/Die Passagerin.

A hugely talented young Teodor Currentzis will conduct the Wiener Symphoniker and a solid cast including  Elena Kalessidi, Roberto Sacca and Michelle Breedt.

On the Bregenz Festival web-site you find a succinct description of this opera that you most probably don't know much about:
Two young women, both voyaging by ship to a new and different life, are caught up by the history that links them to one another: The Passenger by the Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg is the Festival Opera House production in summer 2010. The opera is based on a novel with the same title by the Polish Auschwitz survivor Zofia Posmysz. Completed in 1968, the opera was first performed in 2006 in a concert performance in Moscow.

The Passenger is regarded as a work of extraordinary originality and gigantic dimensions. Shostakovich praised it as a masterpiece and used all his influence to try and get it staged. But in spite of the fact that four Soviet opera houses expressed an interest in staging The Passenger, it was vetoed every time by the cultural authorities.

David Pountney insists and calls Moisey Weinberg a "Third Man" alongside Shostakovich and Prokofiev. Even though the composer died after the end of the Soviet era [he died in 1996], he didn't live to see a scenic performance of his opera.

Ed I learned that this production will travel to Teatr Wielki in Warsaw, Teatro Real in Madrid, and to  New York.

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010-2011, 2011-2012, 2012-2013 in Switzerland

The largest and the most significant opera-house in Switzerland is the one in Zurich, followed by the Grand Theater in Geneva. Both theaters already announced the new productions scheduled for 2010-2011. A pretty little Opera in Lausanne did the same.

If you're interested in more audacious theaters then you'd be more curious about 2010-2011 in Basel and in Freiburg. We just learned that the Theater Freiburg will unveil the details about their new season on May 6. When Basel will say something about their next season is anyone's guess...

In the following (if you dive into "Read more") you can find the links and a list of new productions in these fine Swiss Opera Houses.

Ed: the details on 2010-2011 at  Theater Basel will be made public on April 29

Edvard Munch's Anti-Scream in Paris

La Pinacothèque de Paris presents these days a WONDERFUL exhibition of paintings by Edvard Munch. If you're in Paris do not miss this one [it runs until July 18]. It is wonderfully composed, very well organized and allows one to somehow seize the grandeur of this artist who we unfortunately mostly identify by his famous "The Scream". There is so much about Munch beyond that single painting, which is what the organizers wanted to emphasize by calling the exhibit  L'"Anti-Cri"

I'm always amazed to see that despite a huge offer of fine art in Paris, every new good exhibition attracts not only tourists but Parisians. Every new good exhibition is a success because very many people are used to visiting galleries and/or museums. It's like recharging your batteries with beauty, to give your life a touch of extra-beauty.

The above pic was taken at 10:45 a.m. this past Saturday! A long line of people in front of the Pinacothèque is this long [and longer] all day long and every day (the line goes around the building).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Barenboim hearts Netrebko: "Anna doesn't sing as if music needs her. She sings as if she needs music."

Terrific concert on Arte with Anna and Barenboim. The same material is released on CD called  "In the Still of Night".

Here is the trailer prepared by Deutsche Grammophon where the two artists have so much praise for each another [videos from Arte after jump too]:

Festival de Saint-Denis 2010 : June in the Parisian Suburb

Saint-Denis is known for its stunningly beautiful basilica. Its Royal Abbey used to be the place where the kings and queens of France were buried. If you get the opportunity to join a guided tour to visit the place, it is a fascinating experience on many accounts...

Nowadays Saint-Denis [one of the nearest northern Parisian suburbs] is more known for the fact that it host the Stade de France, but also for its nasty neighborhood [it is like a social laboratory of all the elements reflecting the French malaise today].

That admittedly weird but lively place also hosts a yearly [very-starry] Festival of classical music -- at the Basilica. You can consult  the program here. My selection includes:

Krzysztof Penderecki - a touch away from perfection?!

This opera was a very-very pleasant discovery to me.

An opera with a magnificent libretto (cannot get better than this), and with Penderecki's music which is not something you'd listen to on your iPod, but it fits impeccably the underlying dramatic action.

Penderecki obviously knew how to enhance every emotion not just by using the text but by using the sounds of human voices. Melodic or atonal, everything is permitted to make a thrilling moment chilling, to define the creepy atmosphere when necessary, or to make a mockery of the evident cases of hypocrisy.

It is a slightly "televised' [TV-adapted] version of the production that was staged in Hamburg at the time of this opera's creation (early 70's), which is the only reason I cannot go on with unreserved praise about this DVD.

If you like theater, and take pleasure in listening to the contemporary operas, you're gonna love this one. Let's hope one of so many European theaters decides to stage this excellent work.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

European Opera Days on Arte: Don Quichotte from la Monnaie

Arte  will broadcast the new production of Don Quichotte --an opera by Jules Massenet and directed by Laurent Pelly-- live from La Monnaie/De Munt, one of the best opera houses in Europe [and very dear to my heart], on Saturday, May 8, at 20:30 (cet)
Maestro Marc Minkowski will be conducting the house's orchestra and the singers including José van Dam <--- his last role in Belgium before retirement.

Notice in particular that the weekend of May 8-9 will be celebrated all over Europe as European Opera days. Check out this map to get more details about the free events/visits... near you.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Arte alert

The world's coolest TV [Arte, of course!] will soon broadcast two shows that you might wish to check out:

I was sorry not to be able to go and see both of these events live, so here are my two double thanks to Arte!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Poèmes pour Mi by Messiaen

Composed for a big soprano, this cycle of 9 songs must be one of the most beautiful pieces of contemporary music written for a voice. Messiaen dedicated it to his wife Claire Delbos (who he called Mi), and the music is a refined portrait of a woman combined with his own warmth and tenderness to her. The superposition of the soprano voice with the orchestral contemporary music is truly sensational.

Please do try and listen to the whole cycle [but more than once!] and I bet you'll get hooked up too. ;)

The most frequently cited recording of  Poèmes pour Mi is the one with Pierre Boulez including a phenomenal interpretation by Françoise Pollet [last big French soprano, if you ask me!].

Very recently one of my fave singers, Anne Schwanewilms, recorded it too, and in spite of some  French mispronunciation, a sheer beauty of her voice --leaning towards dramatic yet retaining its lyric juice--  is enough for me to make that recording a permanent entry to my iPod play-list.

Now, why do I talk about Poèmes pour Mi?

Monday, April 12, 2010

10 minutes of Westbroek and you're cool

Of course something just HAD TO stand on the way for me to go to Amsterdam to see  Les Troyens with  Eva-Maria Westbroek,  the event I've been waiting for since more than a year ago. Just as I thought to go, I learned this morning at work that my presence was indispensable... and that I had to stay.
Not only it's a waste of money for me [I've already paid for the train and had the ticket for Les Troyens], but I really wanted to see this opera live.

Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde in the Stéphane Braunschweig's production of Die Walkuere in Aix, 2007

There is no any recording of Eva-Maria singing Cassandre, but whatever she sings it's regularly overwhelming, dramatic and stunningly beautiful. Here I picked my three fave Westbroek roles to share.
Whichever you choose it will be 10 minutes of bonding with either Wagner, Shostakovich or R.Strauss. Enjoy

And I gotta dash back to work...

Sunday morning at the Théâtre du Châtelet: Ebène Quartet

 April 11 2010, Théâtre du Châtelet

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Divertimento nº 3 en fa majeur, K. 138
Quatuor en ré mineur, K. 421

Felix Mendelssohn
Quatuor en fa mineur, op. 80

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mignon at Opéra Comique

Opéra Comique, April 10, 2010: Mignon (an opera by Ambroise Thomas)

Opéra Comique - the night of the premiere of Mignon

Conductor François-Xavier Roth
Director, Jean-Louis Benoit

Mignon, Marie Lenormand
Wilhelm Meister, Ismael Jordi
Philine, Malia Bendi-Merad
Lothario, Nicolas Cavallier
Frédéric, Blandine Staskiewicz
Laërte, Christophe Mortagne
Jarno, Frédéric Goncalves
Un serveur, Laurent Delvert

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

Friday, April 9, 2010

Massacre à la Cité de la Musique de Paris

Cité de la Musique à Paris, April 8, 2010, Massacre (an opera by Wolfgang Mitterer)

Ludovic Lagarde director
Peter Rundel conductor

Elizabeth Calleo  la duchesse de Guise
Valérie Philippin  le roi de Navarre
Nora Petrocenko  la reine de Navarre
Jean-Paul Bonnevalle  Henri III
Lionel Peintre  le Duc de Guise
Remix Ensemble

Opera Houses in Germany

    Thursday, April 8, 2010

    Philip Glass and Franz Kafka In der Strafkolonie

    Théâtre Athénée Paris, April 7, 2010:  Dans la colonie pénitentiaire (In the penal colony)

    Philippe Forget    Conductor
    Richard Brunel    Stage Director

    Stephen Owen  The Officer (singer)
    Michael Smallwood The Traveler (singer)

    Nicholas Henault The Soldier (actor)
    Mathieu Morin-Lebot The Condamned (actor)
    Gérald Robert-Tissot Soldier (actor)

    Confirmed: Rienzi on DVD later this year

    Next Sunday there will be the last show (in this run) of the excellent new Rienzi produced by Philipp Stölzl's at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.

    Not surprising to see that they've spread the dates for 6 shows over 3 months [2 shows - long break - 2 shows - long break - 2 shows] because otherwise it would be humanly impossible to sing 6 shows in a row. This opera is especially demanding on Adriano [Kate Aldrich] and Rienzi [Torsten Kerl], and also on the chorus.

    Torsten Kerl (left) and Kate Aldrich & Camilla Nylund (right)

    What is more important for you --who could not go and see the show but who'd love to see/listen to this strange but wonderful opera-- is that this production was filmed in February of 2010 [ when I saw it] and will be released on DVD later this year, by Unitel Classica.  The press person from the Deutsche Oper Berlin confirmed that this DVD will most probably be available in October/November this year.

    You're welcome :)

    Wednesday, April 7, 2010

    DSO 2010-2011: Unter den Linden ---> Schiller Theater

    As everybody knows, the Deutsche Staatsoper (DSO) in Berlin will move from its ultra-chic location in East Berlin (Unter den Linden) to the Schiller Theater [West Berlin], the latter being within 5-10 minutes walking distance from their competition - the Deutsche Oper Berlin (DOB).

    DSO will be in their new residence for three years the time needed to complete the heavy renovation  works on their theater at Unter den Linden [are you  following?! ;) ].

    More important news is that they released a detailed program of their 2010-2011 season which to me looks excellent. Of new productions we note:
    • New production of The Ring (co-produced with La Scala) directed by Guy Cassiers: René Pape will not sing in  Rheingold but he will sing Wotan in the Walkure, with Irene Theorin as Brunnhilde (plus Ekaterina Gubanova, Anja Kampe, Mikhail Petrenko and Simon O'Neill). Add to that Barenboim conducting ==> April 2011 a must-go trip to Berlin! ;)
    • New production of The Rake's Progress directed by (our fave) Krzysztof Warlikowski and with Ingo Metzmacher conducting. Two excellent singers: Anna Prohaska and Florian Hoffmann [of courrrse, I do plan a trip to Berlin in December 2010]
    • New production and a new project of René Jacobs' will be Antigona (an opera by Tommaso Traetta), directed by Vera Nemirova and with Bejun Mehta, Veronica Cangemi, Jennifer Rivera (Brava Jen!), Kenneth Tarver
    • New production of Candide staged by Vincent Boussard (and Christian Lacroix) with Maria hot Bengtsson as Cunegonde. 
    • New production of Three Sisters, so much praised opera by Peter Eötvös in July 2011(dir Rosamund Gilmore)
    • New production of Wozzeck directed by Andrea Breth (good!) and with Nadja Michael and Roman Trekel (Barenboim will conduct the Staatskapelle)
    • Metanoia (a terrible name!), an opera by Jens Joneleit; new production directed by Christoph Schlingensief. Staatskapelle with Anna Prohaska, Annette Dasch et al will be conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
    • Matsukadze (ballet/opera) by Toshio Hosokawa --VERY en vogue FYI!-- will come from Brussels to Berlin in mid-July 2011.
    There will be a revival of their excellent Entführung with either Maria Bengtsson or Christine Schäfer, an interesting production of Don Carlo with René Pape and Nadia Krasteva, but the most important revival should be Phaedra by Hans Werner Henze, a production by Peter Mussbach with Natascha Petrinsky in the title role.

    Mignon par Ambroise Thomas revient à l'Opéra Comique

    I know next-to-nothing about Mignon, an opera by Ambroise Thomas that used to be a huge success at Opéra Comique around 1870, where it was performed more than 1000 times including that infamous night of May 25 1887, when a fire destroyed the theater and 84 people died by asphyxiation.

    Even though Mignon sounds ominously sweet, I'll of course go and see the premiere next Saturday at Opéra Comique.

    Marie Lenormand, Ismael Jordi,  Nicolas Cavallier will hopefully be good, and after having heard so many good things about Malia Bendi-Merad, I hope I too will be convinced in a live performance.

    There are many (relatively) famous 'doux' arias from this opera, such as:

    DVD shopping cart

    In spite of a mountain of DVDs that on my shelves that I hope to find enough time to watch, I had to see the list of new DVD releases and saw 4 that I don't think I'll be able to resist.

    The Fairy Queen will be there to inhibit the process of fading this wonderful production away from my memory. [ I also hope I'll be able to stop raving about it ;) ]

    Lohengrin is a special souvenir from the Muenchner Opernfestspiele where this production was premiered last year. This event was memorable, NOT because of Jonas Kaufmann, nor because of Richard Jones, but because of sensational Elsa by Anja Harteros. She's one of those unlucky singers whose recorded voice is not as round and beautiful as it is in auditorium. Still, This is the best approximation you may have so...

    The other two are potentially interesting new operas: The Visit of the Royal Physician by Bo Holten and Prima Donna by Rufus Wainwright.

    Adams and Glass in Paris

    In the country of Boulez you don't expect to hear too much music by the American minimalists, such as John Adams or Philip Glass.

    Yet in March there was a whole lot of events honoring John Adams, including the French premiere of his opera "A Flowering Tree" at the Cité de la Musique [Cité was co founded by Pierre Boulez!].
    The press apparently liked the idea and appreciated the music by Adams. Moreover, the world's coolest television [Arte, of course] --via ARTE Live Web--  offered a free video of the entire concert with John Adams conducting the Asko-Schönberg Ensemble. The concert took place 10 days ago in Paris; the video is free and can be found here.

    As for Philip Glass, his chamber operas have been relatively often performed but in smaller parisian theaters. To wit, "In the Penal Colony", that he composed in 2000, will be premiered tonight at the Théâtre Athénée with Yours Truly in the front row  :)

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    New Productions in Europe - April 2010: Les Troyens arrivent!

    Not as much excitement nor nearly as many new productions as in March. I hope to see Dialogues des Carmélites in Munich and I'm still under a huge impression of the Bieito's Parsifal,  both premiered only a week ago.

    The most exciting new production premiered in April must be  Les Troyens, with Eva-Maria Westbroek singing Cassandre. La prima is actually underway and I hope to see the show in 10 days or so.

    Other interesting new productions should be Der Freischutz in Vienna, Macbeth in Strasbourg, Fidelio in Berlin...

    Superb Parsifal in Stuttgart

    Johann Tilli, Christiane Iven and Andrew Richards

    Director Calixto Bieito
    Conductor Manfred Honeck

    Gurnemanz Johann Tilli
    Amfortas Gregg Baker
    Parsifal Andrew Richards
    Klingsor Claudio Otelli
    Kundry Christiane Iven
    Titurel Matthias Hölle
    1. Gralsritter Heinz Göhrig
    2. Gralsritter Mark Munkittrick
    Vier Knappen Yuko Kakuta, Diana Haller, Torsten Hofmann, Hans Kittelmann
    Blumenmädchen Julia Borchert, Petra van der Mieden, Tina Hörhold, Yuko Kakuta, Agata Wilewska, Michaela Schneider

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    No sausages at the Stuttgart's Staatsoper ;)

    Compared to my previous trip to Stuttgart --where I saw the most unforgettable premiere of Der Rosenkavalier directed by Stefan Herheim-- this time the long intermissions were not all about sausages with mashed potatoes and cabbage. ;)

    This time I went to see one more unforgettable show: Parsifal directed by Calixto Bieito. I'll post a short/personal report on the production later today. It already received so many --mainly positive-- reviews, and I feel like I have very little to add except for putting a few personal comments...

    The opera is 5 hours long and since it starts at 5:30 pm, you need to eat something during the breaks. Instead of sausages they now serve potato salad with some spinach rolls, Bretzels, petits fours, and there is also Quiche: a (g)astronomical improvement for vegetarians and vegans such as Yours Truly!

    Grace for Treemonisha

    Théâtre du Châtelet, March 31, 2010

    I couldn't resist the temptation and went to see the premiere of Treemonisha, even though I had a train for Stuttgart to catch very early next morning...

    Since my previous post on Treemonisha something unpleasant must have happened at the Châtelet to explain the fact that the name of the director Mark Dornford-May was dropped out from the program. Blanca Li, who was originally supposed to be in charge of choreography, ends up directing the whole show, with a help of a french artist [Roland Roure] who basically drew a few sketches that were video-projected on the stage thus providing the background images for the show. 

     Stephen Salters, Willard White, Grace Bumbry, Adina Aaron, Stanley Jackson, Jacques-Greg Belobo

    Conductor Kazem Abdullah
    Director Blanca Li [ + Roland Roure ]

    Treemonisha Adina Aaron
    Monisha Grace Bumbry
    Lucy Janinah Burnett
    Remus Stanley Jackson
    Ned Willard White
    Simon Jacques-Greg Belobo 
    Parson Alltalk Krister St. Hill 
    Luddud Jean-Pierre Cadignan 
    A Foreman Joël Ocangha